December 16, 2022
ISLAMABAD – In a move aimed at boosting foreign reserves, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved on Thursday the export of 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar.
The decision was taken in a meeting presided by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
“The ECC considered and approved a summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research regarding the export of sugar during FY 2022-23 and allowed the export of sugar up to 100,000 MT,” a statement issued from the Finance Division said.
It stated that the committee would review the situation on a fortnightly basis.
“The ECC further directed and PSMA (Pakistan Sugar Mills Association) committed that the existing price of sugar will not increase in the domestic market at least till January 31, 2023,” the press release added.
Earlier, Dawn reported that exporting sugar will help fetch some direly-needed foreign exchange earnings, according to the sugar industry and relieve the mills and farmers from cash flow problems and financing costs.
The industry has been demanding the export of 1.2 million tonnes of sugar and delaying crushing as provincial governments enhanced minimum support by over 30pc for the current crop season.
The government has been resisting sugar export, fearing that this would lead to shortage and price hikes in the domestic market to the political disadvantage of the incumbent PDM government already facing public criticism for unprecedented inflation that hit 26.6pc in October.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had imposed a “complete ban” on the export of sugar, owing to the commodity’s “domestic demand”.
During the meeting today, the ECC also approved technical supplementary grants of Rs7 million in favour of the Ministry of Climate Change and Rs743.57 million in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works for the execution of its development schemes.